We’re the snakes and songbirds, the storm water, the brightness beneath the darkest pools. Boulders avalanche and snow drifts, ice moans. The nature of the book is that all these things are tangled together, despite the notion of separation between them. Many of the themes discussed relate to PTSD, family drama and infidelity, and violence. the mere wife by Maria Dahvana Headley ‧ RELEASE DATE: July 17, 2018 Headley, a writer of juvenile fiction ( Aerie , 2016, etc.) The book often plays with mirrors: there are two young boys, one living inside the mountain, one in Herot Hall, and two main female characters, one the war veteran Dana Mills, who is the Grendel’s mother character, and the other the very privileged former actress Willa Herot, who is the Hrothgar’s wife equivalent. Headley’s prose doesn’t woo or coddle. It is important to recognize this coexistence within ourselves so that we might further develop deep and personal relationships with those we love. Willa, Dylan's mother, is introduced. At a disastrous house party Dana appears searching for her son who has run down to play with Dylan. ...Headley imbues The Mere Wife with the trappings of myth, from a deadly sword to a disembodied arm, from a dragon to a pack of formidable mothers. In our soil there are tree fossils, the remains of a forest, dating from the greening of the world. Guest Rooms Select Your Room. The New York Times claimed Headley brought Beowulf into the 21st century "in a curious way. Both sides of the tunnel are covered with metal doors and soil, but the gilded chamber remains, water pouring over the tracks. The premise of the play is that wives are permitted to be strong, spirited and merry. The union between a husband and wife is very different from mere sexual union, because marriage, according to Christianity, is a lifelong bond between two people. Lewis’, Life, Death, and Coming of Age in Nnedi Okorafor’s, Six Stories for Fans of Beautiful Australian Gothic, Five Thrilling SF Stories About Patrolling Space. “The Mere Wife is a book on par with Lidia Yuknavitch's The Book of Joan: electric, feminist, literary retellings of famous tales, but with dystopian spins. Following this, police officer Ben Woolf goes searching for Dylan. The mere wife by Maria Dahvana Headley, 2018 edition, in English - First edition. There’s a howl and then a whistle, and then a roar. The Mere Wife. THE MERE WIFE By Maria Dahvana Headley 308 pp. Listen. The Mere Wife publishes July 18th with Farrar, Straus & Giroux. We’re thrilled to reveal the cover and share an excerpt from Maria Dahvana Headley’s upcoming novel The Mere Wife. Each of the sections begins with a possible translation of "Hwaet", the word that begins Beowulf. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. The gated community still has its back open to the mountain. A modern retelling of the literary classic Beowulf, The Mere Wife is set in American suburbia as two mothers—a housewife and a battle-hardened veteran—fight to protect those they love. There’s a murder of matriarchs (can I just use that as the collective noun for this version?—I don’t usually feel that way about matriarchs, but these are pretty murderous) who have collective POV, and function as the soldiers of suburbia. The Mere Wife is a bold, stunning riptide of a book.' $27. “The Mere Wife is a book on par with Lidia Yuknavitch's The Book of Joan: electric, feminist, literary retellings of famous tales, but with dystopian spins. A panel in the ceiling moves out of position, and a woman drops through the gap at the end of an arch, falling a couple of feet to the floor, panting. Sean McDonald, publisher of MCD/FSG Books: Maria gave the cover designers a lot to work with—The Mere Wife is full of myths and monsters, blood and fangs and fur and… one perfectly dystopic American suburb. The world inside consists only of this woman, dressed in stained camo, a tank top, rope-belted fatigues, combat boots, a patch over one eye, hair tied back in a piece of cloth. She hides inside the mountain behind it, which has an abandoned train station and a lake; people think it is haunted. We rose up from an inland sea, and now, half beneath the mountain, half outside it, is the last of that sea, a mere. Roger shoots a bear, thinking it is what took Dylan, but Dana believes that he has shot Gren, and so she murders Roger in retaliation. Book cover of the first edition, published in 2018, designed by Miranda Meeks. Dylan runs away with Gren as Roger follows them toward the mountain. Headley makes many references to modern police violence (especially against African Americans), social media usage, class differences, and feminine stereotypes. They meet and kiss but are found by Ben and, running back to his childhood home, Dylan is brutally stabbed and murdered by Willa. On her back, there are two guns and a pack of provisions. Is an act of accurate translation, ram and wolf, transforming, entwining, finally being shown as two sides of the same entity. The Mere Wife reimagines Beowulf by setting it in a suburban landscape of intense economic disparity . Later, the cave was widened and pushed, tiled, tracked, and beamed to house a train station. Showing all 1 items Jump to: Summaries (1) Summaries. When Gren, unaware of the borders erected to keep him at bay, ventures into Herot Hall and runs off with Dylan, Dana’s and Willa’s worlds collide. Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), © 2021 Macmillan | All stories, art, and posts are the copyright of their respective authors. The station was a showpiece before it wasn’t. The Mere Wife is a primal fable about motherhood, modern society, and the literal bulldozing of the past of the poor to make way for the future of the rich. Each house has its own fireplace, each fireplace is fitted with a container of lighter fluid, and outside—in lawns and on playgrounds—wildflowers seed themselves in neat rows. With picket fences, gabled buildings, and wildflowers that seed themselves in ordered rows, the suburb is a self-sustaining community, enclosed and secure. There are drinking fountains tapping the spring that feeds the mountain, and there’s a wishing pool covered in dust. Start studying The World's Wife Poem Themes. Some sects say that divorce is permissible, while others do not; however, all sects see divorce as something unnatural—a kind of “surgical operation.” We wait, and one day our waiting is over. New York Times bestselling author Maria Dahvana Headley presents a modern retelling of the literary classic Beowulf, set in American suburbia as two mothers—a housewife and a battle-hardened veteran—fight to protect those they love in The Mere Wife. A New Statesman book of the year New York Times bestselling author Maria Dahvana Headley's fierce, feminist retelling of the classic tale of Beowulf. It probably means fierce fighter. So, this cover, to my eye? Five Stories About Generation Ships With Happy(ish) Endings, The Deplorable Word: Power, Magicians, and Evil in C.S. Her mother, Diane, forced her into a marriage with Roger Herot, a plastic surgeon and heir of the Herot development. From the perspective of those who live in Herot Hall, the suburb is a paradise. Whether you’re visiting for a weekend break or an overnight stay, The Mere offers a range of rooms with amenities to ensure a cosy night’s sleep. Fantasy and realism mix in an ambiguous, audacious genre-bender. Dana kills Ben, committing suicide in the process. An adaptation of a traditional Karen Hill tribe folk tale about the love triangle between the elephant, the mahout and the wife… We’re an old thing made of everything else, and we’ve been waiting here a long time. Headley moves expertly between perspectives, with first-person narratives intersected by a chorus of voices from the suburban women who will do anything to protect their own. “The Mere Wife is a book on par with Lidia Yuknavitch's The Book of Joan: electric, feminist, literary retellings of famous tales, but with dystopian spins. Buy The Mere Wife Reprint by Headley, Maria Dahvana (ISBN: 9781250214942) from Amazon's Book Store. No train’s been through our territory in almost a hundred years. Thanks! The creation of this cover is built upon themes of dualism and polarity. No one needs to love us for us to exist. The Mere Wife is a book by Maria Dahvana Headley that is a retelling of Beowulf set in 21st-century America. The Mere Golf Resort & Spa remains open for essential business meetings, key workers and elite sportspeople. Excerpted from The Mere Wife, copyright © 2018 by Maria Dahvana Headley. I mean, this is a book full of choral speaking. She flits between mommy groups, playdates, cocktail hour, and dinner parties, always with her son, Dylan, in tow. Rising Action Resolution The resolution is when the wife see's the white bloody man who was once her husband. Hwaet! The word doesn’t mean hero, nor does it mean monster. I think this piece of art manages to encompass both things, the wrath of the book and the fluidity of it as well. View The Mere Wife Analysis essay.docx from ENGLISH MISC at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. The cave’s walls are crumbling now, and on top of the stone the tiles are cracking, but the station remains: ticket booth, wooden benches, newspaper racks, china teacups, stained-glass windows facing outward into earthworms, and crystal chandeliers draped in cobwebs. No one needs to see us for us to exist. Our Privacy Notice has been updated to explain how we use cookies, which you accept by continuing to use this website. The Mere Wife is a sly satire of suburbia, wittily detailed and Long after the end of everything is supposed to have occurred, long after apocalypses have been calculated by cults and calendared by computers, long after the world has ceased believing in miracles, there’s a baby born inside a mountain. She ends up near Herot Hall, a development built on top of the town where she used to live. The novel is definitely violent, because it’s based on Beowulf! It’d get a nice graphic R rating if it were made into a movie. The Mere Wife reimagines Beowulf by setting it in a suburban landscape of intense economic disparity . Dana Mills wakes up unsure of what has happened to her or why she is pregnant. The boy from outside hears a piano lesson echoing up from the home of the boy raised indoors. Headley makes many references to modern police violence (especially against African Americans), social media usage, class differences, and feminine stereotypes. Meanwhile, in a cave in the mountains just beyond the limits of Herot Hall lives Gren, short for Grendel, as well as his mother, Dana, a former soldier who gave birth as if by chance. Maria Dahvana Headley’s The Mere Wife has finally been loosed upon the world. Maria Dahvana Headley is a novelist, Nebula-nominated short story writer, and editor. The Mere Wife is clever and often funny, finding ingenious ways to update the Beowulf story, in a way that produces wry social commentary. The ram and wolf symbolize the classic struggle of predator versus prey, but instead of both sides directly opposing each other, they are woven and entwined together, until it’s difficult to see where the two sides meet in the middle. Despite his mother's instructions, as Gren grows older he wishes to meet the people in Herot and becomes friends with Dylan, a young boy in the town. She acts as the perfect housewife (hiding alcoholism, a likely eating disorder, an unhappy marriage, and copious quantities of stress) and quickly notices something is amiss when Dylan begins to talk about his "imaginary" friend Gren. New York Times bestselling author Maria Dahvana Headley presents a modern retelling of the literary classic Beowulf, set in American suburbia as two mothers—a housewife and a battle-hardened veteran—fight to protect those they love in The Mere Wife. "[2] The Mere Wife was nominated for the 2019 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel.[3]. Cover illustration by Miranda Meeks; Design by Keith Hayes. There is both intimacy and power behind this delicate balance of light and darkness. In the end, The Mere Wife is about the ways that Others are created, and the way that our society is mercilessly divided into poisoned binaries. Mere Wife (2008) Plot. GSW 102 Zach Luther 4/13/2020 Analysis essay The Mere Wife Analysis Essay The Mere Wife, by Maria Gren is killed by Ben; everyone realizes he is a boy, not a monster. Her face is scarred with a complicated pink line. To withdraw your consent, see Your Choices. . Discussion of themes and motifs in William Wycherley's The Country Wife. Years later, Dylan runs away from the boarding school he has been placed in due to rebellious behaviors to find Gren. To those who live there, Herot Hall is a paradise. It conveys that life isn’t black and white; it’s messy, and broken, and the gray area is a lot more encompassing than people initially assume. The bones were pried out and taken to a museum, reassembled into a hanging body. They can lead full and vivid lives and can simultaneously be virtuous and faithful to their husbands. Fish swim in the rail river and creatures move up and down over the mosaics and destination signs. Picket fences divide buildings—high and gabled—and the community is entirely self-sustaining. The Miranda Meeks piece that Keith Hayes chose for The Mere Wife reminds me, appropriately, of something from an illuminated manuscript. 'The Mere Wife' Is An Epic Retelling July 22, 2018 • For too long the Old English poem has long been perceived as a "masculine text," says Maria Dahvana Headley. Then they run back to the hills into the woods. She eases herself down to the tiles. . I say finally because I think the world needs this book. Deep inside the mountain, there’s a cave full of old bones. The sections are told from different perspectives: Dana narrates in first person, Willa and Ben in third, and the ancestors living in the mountain, mothers of Herot, and dogs in first person plural. There’s a blurry streak of light, coming from the old skylight, a portal to the world outside. In this way it is a story of mothers and sons, the equal intensity and distance of that bond. However, while The Mere Wife may occasionally veer into the realm of the grotesque, it does so no more than sacrosanct myths. . She calls, to any god, to all of them. . In fact, she sort of already has—her portfolio is full of things like lungs full of birds, and owl-headed women, both of which concepts show up in my young adult novels, Magonia and Aerie. "The Mere Wife by Maria Dahvana Headley review – a modern Beowulf", "World Fantasy Awards℠ 2019 | World Fantasy Convention", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The_Mere_Wife&oldid=999298747, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 9 January 2021, at 13:40. He finds Dylan, and Dana's severed arm, but he claims he killed Dana and Gren. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible orders. MCD/Farrar, Straus & Giroux. The human brain relishes in categorizing people into two different groups: there are only good people or bad people. . I wasn’t familiar with the art of Miranda Meeks before this cover, but now that I am, I can easily say that she could illustrate anything I’ve written. For Willa, the wife of Roger Herot (heir of Herot Hall), life moves at a charmingly slow pace. The Mere Wife reimagines Beowulf by setting it in a suburban landscape of intense economic disparity . This illustration suggests an alternative perspective, in that everyone has a delicate balance of good and bad inside them, and the two sides aren’t polarized either. Inciting Incident The Rising Action in the story is when the wife starts to realize that in the night when everyone is "[1] The Guardian noted, "The question in Headley's ambitious novel is why we need to cast anyone as a monster at all. The nature of the illustration speaks to that as well, in my opinion—there’s something of the classical hero’s spoils in what we’re looking at on this cover. Those familiar with Beowulf will appreciate the cleverness of Headley's ambitious retelling, but The Mere Wife is impressive even when considered apart from the epic. -- Tea Obreht, author of The Tiger's Wife 'Maria Dahvana Headley translates the excesses of contemporary life into the gloriously mythic. 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